HEADS UP: Unhappy news follows
The doc says I have cancer. We don’t know which kind or where it really started without further tests (starting Monday Apr/1/2013). As we used to say back in the 70′s, “It is what it is”. Facts in the rear view mirror are the same size as the facts in front of you.
I know everyone wants to know the details and a few of you might want to play MD and offer advice and some just like to follow the drama. That’s all OK. Your are what you are and I yam what I yam and this blog is mine. I’d rather write about what I learned about Skip Reed today but first but I ‘ll give you the details that some of you want. Obvious Note: If i don’t want to tell you something, I won’t. I won’t post these status reports on Facebook for example unless there is some obvious irony in the medical system that needs wider exposure.
—— Start the story ——
A few weeks ago I noticed a lump on the right hand side of my neck. I think it might have been 3/13/13 (too many 13′s for the numerologists). Also the same day my first Social Security deposit arrived. Go figure. I don’t have a “primary care” physician so I went to the nearest Doc-in-box that my insurance will pay for (more on my insurance at another time) on 3/19/13. A lovely (really) Nurse Practitioner did the history and exam and ordered an ultrasound of the lump at St Lukes (my insurance companies only choice for testing) and it turns out I got that test 45 minutes later. However, the Doc didn’t have a new patient opening until Thursday, 3/21/13.
Dr Michaud does a more detailed history and exam. Nice Guy. I like him. His folks do a chest X-Ray. No cancer there. Ultrasound rules out a cyst. He wants to sent me to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. That’s exactly what I expected, a referral to a specialist. He orders up a CT scan because he thinks it would help the ENT doc. That scan happened the next day, Friday, 3/22/13. I get an appointment for an ENT Doc on Monday, except that the first doc was on vacation that week, so I get his backup. I have a weekend to ponder and I do ponder.
Yesterday, Monday 3/25/13 I meet with the Doc’s nurse and the ENT Doc. They are quite pair. The nurse is a big dude with longish red hair in a pony tail. His first name is “Star”. No, I’m not making that up. I like the guy, he’s good. A bit odd but very good. His job is to tell me what the Doc is going to tell me — I have cancer and then explain the tall tree of tests, options and treatments ahead so the Doc doesn’t have to. Star does an excellent job at this unpleasant task.
The Doc arrives. You don’t shake hands with a surgeon. You might touch hands or not. He had an intern with him that he didn’t introduce. I might have touched her hand. Or not. I don’t mind being part of a training program and she is cute. Doc pokes around me, occasionally saying something really really anatomical and medical and the student writes it down on her pad of paper. Sometimes she would look at me before averting her eyes. That’s why you need folks like Star.
After the exam I asked Star if he had a business card because I might not remember his name. He said Dr Jone’s card are at the desk. I said “No, your card”. He said “I’m not important enough to have cards.” I said “yes you are”.
That was yesterday. I need an ultrasound guided needle biopsy before the Doc can pick any of the tests and treatments that Star described as possible – the Doc added a test that Star didn’t prepare me for. Or maybe he did and it was a different name for the same procedure.
Thanks to my choice of insurance (PacificSource) and St Lukes “interesting” way of scheduling needle biopsies (4/1/13 for me), I wont know anything until next Monday or Tuesday or. ..
A weekend pa